Mathers spent the subsequent 9 years working as a freelance graphic artist in New Zealand and abroad ranging from magazine, corporate to fashion houses.
During his time in London, Mathers worked for Sotheby’s and came face to face with drawings and paintings by Picasso, Dali, Guido Reni (to name a few) and this had a profound effect on him. In particular it was pop-art genius Andy Warhol and graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquait that resonated with him, and inspired him to return to New Zealand to paint.
Mathers held his first solo exhibition in Raglan in 2011 where he was spotted by Antonio Navas, Saatchi & Saatchi’s Art Director who commissioned him to paint a mural for the ad agency’s foyer, which was completed in 2011. His career as a full time artist had begun.
“My works are a visual diary of my travels in New Zealand and around the world - the way I see and experience these places. They document the iconic and instantly recognizable, as well as the odd and interesting. I am fascinated by the backstory - the cultural history behind the well-known images, along with scientific rules and the mechanics of how things work. I explore these ideas within a graphic sensibility and play with scale, depth, text, current and old media, languages, currencies and slang to create multi-layers of meaning - the opportunity for each viewer to find and connect with something different. I enjoy the immediacy of acrylic paint, the effects of pastels, bold and complimentary colours and the fun of seeing where a drawn line will take me. It is a journey back to the memory of a place and time, to the iconic, the familiar and the quirky.” – Sam Mathers